I have never lived in the real world.
From kindergarten through high school, I attended a small Lutheran school in Bronx, New York; upon graduation, I attended a small Roman Catholic college in Brooklyn for 2 years, and then transferred to a small Lutheran college in Bronxville for my final 2 years. Upon graduation from college, I attended a Lutheran seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
And at each place, I was told by teachers and classmates ‘wait until you get out into the real world’.
I hope to never live in this real world, because apparently in this magical place, there are real problems and real issues and real people who cause more real problems. Quite honestly, this real world sounds like hell, and that is not the place for me.
In that small Lutheran school that I attended, there were students with problems and teachers who could not control the classroom. I was the son of an administrator so I know that there were also a lot of financial challenges in operating the school. I guess in the real world, the students and teachers shoot each other in the halls and the school finances are somehow worse.
In both colleges I attended there were a lot of students who seemingly had no interest in ever graduating, and were content to run up student loan debt and drop classes when they got too hard. I guess in the real world students actually fail classes or they graduate and get jobs.
At that Lutheran seminary there were again financial problems, and some students who had issues, and a lot of challenges from both outside and inside the church that caused some of us to wonder if we were not in the last days. I guess in the real world the church is openly persecuted in the streets, and believers have to hide in caves.
Perhaps you catch my drift by now.
The real world that is so openly referred to and adored by one and all is a lie. There is no such place as the real world. The world that you live in right now that has all of these problems, all of these challenges and all of these issues does not get any better just because you move away. Every school, every town, every country has problems; they may be different problems, but they are problems nonetheless.
I do not know what the fascination with the real world is, perhaps we think the problems that we are experiencing now are so bad that they could not possibly get worse; or maybe instead of actually taking the time to fix the problems in our lives, we simply sweep them under the carpet and wait for ones that are seemingly easier to solve, even if they never are.
As graduations and other ceremonies occur in the coming days and weeks, there will be no shortage of references to this mythical place of the real world; but might I suggest a different approach.
Instead of lying to people and telling them to wait until they get into the real world, speak the truth: the world is literally hell on earth; but waiting for you at the end of this earthly life is Christ, and a very real place called heaven where you will reign with Him for eternity.
That Lutheran school, that Roman Catholic college, that Lutheran college and that Lutheran seminary are all the very real world that people live in. There is nothing better and there is nothing worse on earth. What there is however is a very real place where we dwell in the presence of Christ for all eternity.
Forget the real world, wait until you get to heaven.